House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Monday that Congress may, in fact, try to tackle birthright citizenship — though he again said President Trump’s suggestion of trying to change the policy through an executive order was wrong.
He was trying to downplay differences with Mr. Trump over the issue, saying they share the same goal, but disagree on the path.
The president, in an interview with online political outlet Axios last week, had suggested he would sign an executive order ending the policy of automatically granting American citizenship to nearly everyone — including illegal immigrants — born on U.S. soil.
Mr. Ryan had said that was impossible, saying the 14th Amendment was “pretty clear” in guaranteeing birthright citizenship.
But he took a different stance Monday on Fox News, saying that while an executive order might be able to force a court case, it wouldn’t be a lasting policy. He said that needs to happen either by a law passed by Congress, or an amendment to the Constitution.
“I was commenting on the means, not the merits,” Mr. Ryan said.
“I think we should review this, especially for illegals and people getting a tourist visa coming over, just to have a kid. That’s something we should look at because this is the 21st century, it’s not the 18th century when that was written,” he added.
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